100% HEAVY / 100% Free / 0% Spam

SLEEP TOKEN: Metro Theatre, Sydney 29/04/23

Share This:

Words by Matte New

Pix by Angie New Photography

Hype or the real deal? British alt-metal outfit Sleep Token seem to be the in thing amongst the metal fraternity at the moment. The masked minstrels offer a complex musical style that transcends many genres that would normally be seen as uncomfortable for other bands. In addition, they do it to such a high standard, so it is understandable why their following is so devout. Their first headline tour of Australia sold out in every city; and for Sydney, the Metro would play host to this sacred moment.

With no support acts announced for this show, George Street flooded with fanatics eager to get into the venue early to gain an optimal position for a night. I have lost count of how many times I have visited this venue for shows; and never have I seen queues of people as long as this before, happy to wait for hours for the doors to open in the pouring rain. That is dedication.

Within no time at all, the Metro was completely packed shoulder to shoulder ready for a hypnotic night of groove, soul and metal.

Once the clock ticked over to 9 pm, the shadowy figure of frontman Vessel, shrouded in smoke, crooned gracefully to the disjointed synth sounds of Chokehold as the remainder of the band staggered their entries before exploding into the resounding atmospheric sounds that define Sleep Token. The band flowed seamlessly into another new track called The Summoning, which shows the rich progressive nature this band can manifest, all the while teasing the worshippers with their upcoming album Take Me Back To Eden, due for release May 19. This track swayed between brutally powerful detuned guitars and drums into ethereal landscapes of haunting synths, falsetto vocals and beautifully layered backing vocals from the Sleep Token backing vocal ensemble.

The production of this show was intricately detailed and choreographed to perfection. The balance of lighting and the mix of the band really stood as a highlight to me and added to the enjoyment of Sleep Token’s performance. The connection between the crowd and band was also something to behold as the entire audience waved in unison to Hypnosis and the reciprocating gestures of bassist II and guitarist IV demonstrated their deep appreciation for their fans.

Sleep Token showcased a diverse set with a generous spread from all of their albums, EPs and singles. For me, the highlight of the show was the intimate performance of Atlantic by Vessel on vocals and keyboard, leading into one of their most adored singles Alkaline. The emotion and soul in Vessel’s voice was completely mesmerizing and transported everyone to another world. Lyrically beautiful and musically majestic, my appreciation for this band was now solidified. The Love You Want became one romantic sing-along with everyone in the audience participating vocally to the atmosphere.

Concluding the show with an encore that consisted of The Night Does Not Belong To God and The Offering, we had just witnessed one sensational performance from a band we continue to speculate about who is behind the masks.

This performance proved to me why Sleep Token are currently one of the best bands of the modern era, and why they command so much respect.


Discover more like this on HEAVY:

Our Picks.

Get the HEAVY

Get the HEAVY Digi-Mag in-boxed weekly. 100% HEAVY / 0%SPAM.